Zombie Cafeteria

Lauren Monahan


It is a strange environment at first. Your five senses are immediately over whelmed. Your nose not sure what scent to follow. Your mouth building up its own saliva as it becomes ready to feast. Your eyes dart from tray to tray, person to person, table to table. Your fingers tremble not knowing what to pick up and place on your own tray. And your ears are overwhelmed with numerous conversations taking place all at once. As you ascend up the never ending stairs to the cafeteria you feel as if you will never make it. The stairs make you feel as if you must work for your food. You will never be able to earn the freshman fifteen if you have to climb this mountain of stairs before and after every meal. Finally you get to the top and after a quick swipe of your university id you are welcomed into a sort of club. There is no initiation other than your card swipe; you simply enter a club where grease puddle pizza is offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Where “could I” is no longer the question, it is replaced with “should I.” This is a club where desert is offered at all times and at every meal. Where how much food you want to not a concern. There is no one to tell you not to have a creamy piece of Oreo pie for breakfast. There is no one to stop you from having four cookies instead of one, from having Chinese food for every meal, from eating pasta all day long, from drinking soda until your stomach explodes. The aroma is what first catches your nose off guard; it can be smelled from the lobby, an aroma that causes college students to enter a coma. A coma where you simply want food, any food, you are searching for a substance to fill you. You follow the aroma no matter how far or how long it takes you must reach its source. A coma that stops you from texting and talking on the phone; stops you from having any thoughts at all that do not concern food. You hear the constant clank…clank of spoonfuls of slop being placed onto students’ trays. The noise is comforting and exciting all at once. To think that soon that clank will be of a spoon hitting your own tray. And as time passes you will follow the sound of that clank and walk zombie like to the source of the club’s aroma your heart beating harder and harder as the clanking gets louder and louder. Soon everyone will become a member of this glorious club no matter how hard they fight it. I think the transformation takes place after the first bite. It is after the first bite that something in your body’s chemical make-up changes and become like all the other college students. You become a zombie at the will of that certain aroma and that constant clanking.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790